It's been a while since I've done an editor's update. Sorry about that. I've been very busy with some new projects, a mix of work and play related endeavors. I've been helping out with the Flite Test customer service side of things, both the live chat option through the store, and some of the emails that come flooding in every day. It's proven to be very interesting to get that behind the curtain look at the work that the guys at Flite Test HQ do, when they're not making it look like they have fun with planes all day.
So, updates. I've just got a few quick housekeeping details I'd like to go over to let people know what's going on with the articles area.
Reviews of Articles.
I love seeing the positive comments, and the 4 and 5 ratings for articles. Those are great, and I try to use that feedback to help the authors improve based on what people seem to like. Not only do I look at the level of ratings, but the number of people leaving ratings. One of my "magic" powers as editor is to be able to see who is leaving ratings, and what rating level they're leaving.
While positive rankings are great, the negative ones have value too. I have tried to contact people who leave reviews of 3 stars or less. I want to ask them what it was they didn't like about the articles. When I get replies, it's been very helpful for me as the editor. Unfortunately the Articles section of the Flite Test site isn't set up for back and forth communication like the forums are, so contacting the readers is challenging.
So, I am going to ask, that if you leave a 3 star rank, or less, that you take a few minutes to comment below the article on what you thought was lacking that caused you to give the lower review. Or, you can email me at FlyingMonkey@flitetest.com.
Something else I've been trying to institute, is scheduling the publishing of the articles to three specific days. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It's mostly working.
Another point regarding the publishing of articles. I would like to see more variety in the articles being submitted. "Projects" are good, but there seems to be an excess of people wanting just to showcase the aircraft they've created, and while that's great, it doesn't always make for enjoyable material for the readers.
There's six categories for the authors to choose from.
- Just Fun
- How To
Request for Articles
This leads me to the next bit I'd like to discuss.
There is a wealth of information out in the Flite Test community. One of the things that has often impressed me with the people that I've met through the forums, and in person is their willingness to help other people. I know that there are lots of readers out there that should be writers as well, but just don't know that they have information that other people are looking for or do not think that they can express it properly.
So, here's a few topics I think would make for great articles, broken up by category.
- HAM radio license, maybe telling about a personal pursuit and what were the challenges the person faced when studying for the exam. I'd like to see some tips and tricks included that would help the reader pass the exam themselves.
- What do the various numbers assoiciated with antennas mean? How do they apply to the FPV pilot? What should we be looking for in numbers, for different styles of flying?
- Events, have you been to one? What advice do you have for attending one. Or have you organized one? What's involved with that? Make a story out of this, don't just report the facts and figures, make it an exciting tale of travel, people, and adventure.
- Have you ever tried to recreate the excitement that a "Challenges" episode inspired in you? Write about the creation of the idea, how you implemented, and the results. The more foam carnage, usually the better.